Milk Oolong for Not-Quite Milkwood

The Advent door gave us one of our favourite teas for Gaudete Sunday.

It’s a kind of milk oolong. Rich, creamy, and as the name suggests, a bit milky. We never drink it with milk, though we know people who do and enjoy it. Oolong leaves ferment though. It’s part of what gives oolong its distinctive flavour. And we can’t square that taste with milk.

Still, it was the ideal way to relax our Advent discipline of a Sunday afternoon. We thought it would go well with a bit of ‘Under Milk Wood.’ A friend reminded us it existed, and it used to be a staple of the Poetry and Cake Society, which has more than a little to do with this series of blogs existing.

But pulling out an excerpt of ‘Under Milk Wood’ at no notice is tricky. So, instead, here’s another poem by the same author.

The Almanac of Time
Dylan Thomas

The almanac of time, hangs in the brain;
The seasons numbered, by the inward sun,
The winter years, move in the pit of man;
His graph is measured as the page of pain
Shifts to the redwombed pen.

The calendar of age hangs in the heart,
A lover’s thought tears down the dated sheet,
The inch of time’s protracted to a foot
By youth and age, the mortal state and thought
Ageing both day and night.

The word of time lies on the chaptered bone,
The seed of time is sheltered in the loin:
The grains of life must seethe beneath the sun,
The syllables be said and said again:
Time shall belong to man.

We’ve been to Wales and seen Dylan Thomas’s boathouse. We’ve also seen the place where supposedly he did lots of his writing. It was admittedly spoiling for rain at the time, because it was Wales. That whole day was a bit wet and a bit improvised, because nothing went to plan. But it was fun and the company was good. We think of this now every time we read Thomas.

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